Undergraduate Costs, Academic Scholarships and Financial Aid

Let’s get down to the basics

First things first. How much will a year at SDSU cost? Several things enter the picture:

  • Tuition (Are you a South Dakota resident? From Minnesota? Another state? From outside the U.S.?)
  • Fees (These include a general activity fee, university support fee, and other program-specific fees)
  • Books
  • Housing (On-campus or off-campus?)
  • Meal plans (Required for first- and second-year residential students)
  • Parking permit (Required if you bring a vehicle to campus)

Our cost estimate will give you the specifics.

More pieces of the whole picture

We offer a lot of free activities and resources on campus, but there will be some times when you’ll have out-of-pocket expenses. We want to help you create a better budget; it’s a good idea to keep in mind some of the personal expenses you may encounter:

  • Travel. Road trips and trips home are definitely a part of college life. Hitch a ride with friends and share the costs of gas.
  • Laundry. Yep, you’ve got to do it yourself. Luckily, all of the residence halls are equipped with washers and dryers available for a small cost to students.
  • Groceries and eating out. We’re sure you’ll love your campus dining options, but it’s also fun to check out some of the restaurant hot spots around Brookings. Or maybe you just need a midnight snack.
  • Entertainment. We’re proud to be a part of the Brookings community, so we hope you’ll take advantage of all the fun it has to offer—bowling, concerts, and more. Just remember, you can always cut costs by participating in free campus events and activities.
  • Personal Necessities. Clothes. Toothbrush. Deodorant. Everyone needs them.
  • Medical. Office visits at Student Health are free, but you’ll need to pay for things like prescriptions.

Some college expenses can be offset by scholarships. And then there’s financial aid.


Applying for scholarships involves three basic steps:

  1. Apply for admission to South Dakota State University.
  2. Complete the SDSU Academic Scholarship application available from your guidance counselor or the SDSU Admissions Office. One form is all you need to be considered for all academic scholarships available at SDSU. (Talent scholarships for athletics and music and ROTC scholarships require a separate application process)
  3. Return your scholarship application to the Admissions Office. We accept scholarship applications throughout the year, but we strongly encourage you to have yours in by January 15 of your senior year to receive priority consideration for all awards.

Financial Aid

In addition to great scholarship opportunities, we also offer excellent financial aid packages. Unlike scholarships, which are awarded based on academic merit, financial aid is awarded based on your family’s financial need. So, you may be eligible for both. Follow these steps to apply for financial aid.

The priority date for submitting the FAFSA is March 15.